Darkest Hour 0.0 stars

Darkest Hour movie poster

A cup of weak tea indeed from director Joe Wright, one that sorely needs a shot of something stronger to brace it for the unenviable task of manufacturing drama out of the question of whether Prime Minister Winston Churchill will take Britain into war with Germany or sit down for peace talks with Adolf Hitler. Gary Oldman, visually unrecognizable but vocally present, plays the British Lion as mostly toothless: doddering, doubtful, and deeply dependent on his adoring wife, his sympathetic sovereign, and (oh, the hilarity) his plucky public. Because how else will you know to cheer at the end if the butterfly doesn’t emerge from its sarcophagal chrysalis, waving its newfound wings in the morning air? But it’s the script that is the real stinker here, laden with insipid humor (“We’re broke.” “I’ll economize; only four cigars a day.”), ginned-up drama (can we possibly sacrifice 4000 soldiers to save 300,000?), and gobs and gobs of painful exposition. Personal exposition, philosophical exposition, political exposition. And yet for all that telling about how it was, the film feels much more like happy fantasy than detailed history, a fond look back on the lead-up to a moment of moral righteousness. 2017.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

AMC Otay Ranch

2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, February 19

12:05pm

Tuesday, February 20

12:45pm

Wednesday, February 21

1:10pm

Angelika Film Center

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions

Monday, February 19

1:15pm, 6:50pm

Tuesday, February 20

1:15pm, 6:50pm

Wednesday, February 21

1:15pm, 6:50pm

Thursday, February 22

1:15pm

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770 | Directions

Monday, February 19

10:40am, 1:10pm, 4:40pm, 7:55pm, 10:25pm

Tuesday, February 20

10:40am, 1:10pm, 4:40pm, 7:55pm, 10:25pm

Wednesday, February 21

10:40am, 1:10pm, 4:40pm, 7:55pm, 10:25pm

Thursday, February 22

10:40am, 1:10pm, 4:40pm

Landmark Hillcrest

3965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 619-298-2904 | Directions

Monday, February 19

10:00am, 1:00pm, 3:55pm, 7:20pm

Tuesday, February 20

1:00pm, 3:55pm, 7:20pm

Wednesday, February 21

1:00pm, 3:55pm, 7:20pm

Thursday, February 22

1:00pm, 3:55pm, 7:20pm

LOT

7611 Fay Avenue, La Jolla, CA, 858-777-0069 | Directions

Monday, February 19

11:00am, 4:30pm, 8:45pm

Tuesday, February 20

11:00am, 4:30pm, 8:45pm

Wednesday, February 21

11:00am, 4:30pm, 8:45pm

Thursday, February 22

11:00am, 4:30pm, 8:45pm

Reading Cinemas Town Square

4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, 800-326-3264 | Directions

Monday, February 19

11:10am, 4:25pm

Tuesday, February 20

11:10am, 4:25pm

Wednesday, February 21

11:10am, 4:25pm

Thursday, February 22

11:10am, 4:25pm

Regal San Marcos

1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions

Monday, February 19

11:55am, 6:45pm

Tuesday, February 20

11:55am, 6:45pm

Wednesday, February 21

11:55am, 6:45pm

Thursday, February 22

11:55am, 6:45pm

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